Every week Restaurant Hospitality gathers a list of important news for independent restaurants you may have missed. Here’s your list for the week of March 15:
- By Chloe acquired out of bankruptcy — without the trademark
A group of investors agreed to acquire the By Chloe vegan fast-casual chain out of bankruptcy last week, though they’ll have to change the name. The chain, owned by BC Hospitality Group, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2020, citing the pandemic. Coscarelli herself left the chain in 2016 and has been involved in a court battle over the use of her name for the concept since then. The proposed new owners include Qoot International UK, Bain Capital Double Impact Fund, Kitchen Fund, Lion Capital LLC and Simple Capital Management LLC. They agreed to purchase the chain for $333,000 and assumed debt. They also have provided $3.25 million in financing to continue operations for 14 locations, which will be allowed to remain open. However, they can only use the name “By Chloe” for up to six months, in a win for Coscarelli.
- CDC’s latest recommendations say fully vaccinated people can gather without social distancing or masks
As more of the country continues to be vaccinated at an exponential rate, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released recommendations for those who have been fully vaccinated. These new recommendations state that fully vaccinated people can now visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors with no masks or social distancing and visit with people who are at a low-risk for COVID-19 who have not been vaccinated. The CDC has also stated that those who are vaccinated can now refrain from quarantining if they are exposed to COVID-19.
- Alinea reopens for on-premise dining one year to the date after closing due to COVID-19 restrictions
Chicago fine-dining restaurant Alinea may have closed on-premise dining one year ago but it certainly wasn’t dormant during the pandemic. The restaurant —often named one of the top 10 in the world — closed in early March when every restaurant shut down due to pandemic restrictions but unlike many other Chicago restaurants, did not re-open for on-premise dining until March 2021 with a new menu.
During the past year, Alinea co-founder Nick Kokonas used his reservation app Tock to become an ordering and delivery app and the restaurant innovated with fine-dining to-go menus.
The multi-course menu is now being offered in-person for $210-$285 per person that must be prepaid at the time of reservation.
- José Andrés’ Las Vegas restaurant Bazaar Meat names Candace Ochoa executive chef
Bazaar Meat, the Las Vegas iteration of José Andrés’ Bazaar concept that opened in 2014, has promoted its executive sous chef to executive chef.
Candace Ochoa has been with ThinkFoodGroup, parent company of Bazaar Meat, for more than 10 years beginning her career at Bazaar Beverly Hills then moving to Bazaar South Beach and eventually helping open Bazaar Las Vegas.
Ochoa is the only executive chef to work across all of José Andrés’ Bazaar restaurants according to Eater.
- The new fine-dining vending machines of the future
Boston-based chefs Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette of JK Food Group have partnered with foodservice solutions company Alchemista to bring their food to customers via temperature-controlled, self-sanitizing food lockers in luxury apartment buildings throughout Boston.
Inspired by the ease of a vending machine, customers can place orders for meals from tapas restaurant Toro and Italian small plates restaurant Coppa via the Alchemista app and then pick it up whenever they want to from the food locker in their apartment building lobby via a unique QR code.